Beware of back to school scams

Watch out for back-to-school scams

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Parents and students are hustling to get ready to return to school. The Better Business Bureau of Central and South Alabama warns those parents and students to watch out to back to school scams.

"Make sure you are sending your money to a legitimate business and not a fake," said Ande Kral with the Better Business Bureau of Central and South Alabama.

Kral said scammers will take advantage of any situation. So be very cautious if you are contacted out of the blue with discount offers on school supplies.

"Just be wary of solicitations that you don't recognize. Look into the business names if they are claiming to be a business. Do your research," Kral said.

Also, be aware of Phishing Scams. The National Retail Federation has this advice:

1. 45% of people do online shopping
2. Look for email Re: Shipping Info
3. Your order has been delayed 
4. You could be sent to a third party and have info stolen

Watch out for Door to Door Scams with people seeking donations. "If you have somebody really pressuring you to act quickly, act now, they give you a small time frame to respond. That is a usual indicator it's a scam," Kral said.

Back to college can also be a way for people to get your personal financial information and then your money. "It affects people looking for financial aid or scholarships. When they are trying to afford school, that is an easy way to get scammed. You are desperate for cash," Kral said.

Another scam to be aware of is folks contacting you and saying they need to collect a school tax. There is no such tax.

For tips on checking out reputable companies seeking donations or selling school items, check out the Better Business Bureau website.

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